• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The Social Structure of Britain was totally destroyed during the Battle of Britain" Do you agree? Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

- INDIVIDUAL HISTORY ESSAY - "The Social Structure of Britain was totally destroyed during the Battle of Britain" Do you agree? Discuss. During the period between 1939 and 1945, a ferocious and deadly war was being fought between two super powers, Great Britain and Germany. Germany had been on a vengeful rampage, threatening to take total control of Europe; only one hurdle remained, Britain. The high command of Germany, Hitler and Goering were confident of a swift and glorious victory, humiliating Britain. The social structure of Britain was going to be totally destroyed in a merciless attack from the air, paralyzing the nation. Despite German confidence though, this would not be the case and in a great turn of events Britain would turn the tide of war and begin the road to victory. Although Britain were the eventual victors, their social system came perilously close to being crippled. For months Britain, particularly London, had to withstand a sustained bombing raid which killed many and seriously dampened an already low morale. Precautions were taken and people had to endure shortages and rationing. All in all, Britain was able to make do with the circumstances and battle through the darkest period in its history before being ultimately realised as the triumphant country. ...read more.

Middle

Some would argue this as a victory because it ultimately led to the eventual result of the entire war. However, the battle came at a calamitous cost. Many lives were saved though by the efficient organisation, and precautions taken by the British government and public. Preparations for war began well before 1938 as Britain were afraid civilians would be targeted. The real threat was that Germany would use gas and as a precaution every person in Britain was issued with a gas mask. People were also instructed on how to deal with a bomb raid, precautions they should take and how to work around the effects these precautions were having. Britain's Secretary of State for Air cautiously described the impact of these precautions by saying, "The precautions taken were however, a huge burden on the country but it would be a grave mistake to relax them." (Shelters) On May 10 1940, Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister of England and was replaced by the passionate and patriotic, Winston Churchill. He preached to the nation, "Whatever the cost and agony, we shall not surrender", in an attempt to rouse support and ensure public confidence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Life at one social level, the middle class, had been radically effected but this does not mean it effected all social levels, and so ultimately if one level of the social structure was destroyed another always remained and therefore it was not ever totally ravished. After two years, people's spirits had been tested in every corner of the country and "despite the devastation, neither society nor morale had collapsed". The people of London had endured total, merciless war, yet it failed to breakdown the vitality of Britain. There was not a complete collapse in social structure as Giulio Douhet, an Italian General, had suggested. The Home front had held and worked together to keep the nation stabilised, whilst still keeping up with the demands of the war effort. They hadn't been haltered by the vindictive offensive of the German Luftwaffe and remained strong in times of perilous desolation and agony. The experts had over-estimated the ability of the Germans and their High Command. Hitler's impatience and Goering's incompetence had ultimately thrown victory and dominance of Europe out of their own hands and into that of the British. It proved to be a major turning point in the war when Britain, began to step out of their shadows, and begin their prosperous road to victory. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did hitler bomb british cities?

    At first, everything was totally 'blacked out'. From street lamps to torches, everything was gone. However, this did cause a few problems, such as there was a large increase in the amount of Car crashes, so slits were introduces to help combat that. It worked too, as there were fewer crashes and the desired effect was still accomplished.

  2. Why And How Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943

    Invasion Of The Low Countries This attack on France turned Britain's fortunes from bad to worse as a German army trapped the British at Dunkirk. The BEF were stuck on the beaches and Rommel wanted to step in and finish them off with tanks but Hitler intervened and ordered that the Luftwaffe should do it.

  1. Was the "Battle of Britain" a Major Turning Point In World War II.

    America that Britain so desperately needed for use in its war effort. Although these conveys were usually protected by battleships and cruisers etc. they were almost defenceless against what Hitler named his "silent hunters", U-boats. As Churchill so memorably said "U-boats are the only thing that truly frightens me".

  2. How And Why Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943?

    Defeat was a distinct possibility but luckily Germany decided to concentrate on France and Britain had time to arm itself and get the war machine into momentum, The Battle Of Britain had begun! Dunkirk One French General suggested that Britain was waiting 'to have its neck rung like a chicken'.

  1. "Why did Winston Churchill become so important as Prime Minister of Britain between 1940 ...

    General Rommel led them and in 1942, the new leader of the British forces forced Rommel to retreat. Hitler, determined not to be beaten, sent in more men and equipment and by May 1942, Rommel broke the British defenses and took 30,000 prisoners.

  2. American History.

    Consequently, colonies funded by these companies were always short of capital b/c nobody wanted to risk much $. - Anyhow, James I decided to go ahead and charter the company in 1606, which resulted in Jamestown being founded in Virginia [after a failure to start a colony in Maine] in May 1607 by 104 Englishmen.

  1. Why did Winston Churchill become so important as Prime Minister of Britain between 1940 ...

    Less obvious to the public, but no less important, was Churchill's powerful, original and fertile intellect. He was a very knowledgeable politician as he held almost every senior position in the cabinet. When Churchill became Prime Minister, Lord Hailsham said, "Churchill was the only one who could hold the whole country together."

  2. Battle of Britain and the battle of the Atlantic.

    There were many reasons for Britain's victory over Germany. The most important reason was radar, home soil and poor German tactics. The more minor reasons were the German's strength, the spitfire's superiority over German fighters and German delay. By 15th September the Germans had given up destroying RAF airfields and concentrated attacks on London and other major cities in Britain.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work